Opposing workers’ comp and SCE&G rate hikes

The workers’ compensation insurance industry and SCE&G both have hearings in the coming months regarding their requests for more revenue.  The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC) and its president and CEO, Frank Knapp Jr., will intervene to oppose both rate hikes.

The SCSBCC is joining the S.C. Consumer Advocate’s Office in pushing back on a 7.3% average increase filed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.  The Administrative Law Court is scheduled to hear the case starting October 8, 2012.  Representing SCSBCC from the Injured Workers Advocates will be Bill Smith of Chappell, Smith & Arden and Kevin Holmes of the Steinberg Law Firm.

“Since 2005 Bill Smith and Kevin Holmes have formed an effective team with Elliott Elam, the state Consumer Advocate, to successfully fight against proposed increases in workers’ compensation insurance costs to businesses,” said Mr. Knapp.  “Because of our efforts, Administrative Law Judges have ordered up to 44% decreases from the insurance industry’s requests.”

On November 27 the S.C. Public Service Commission will begin hearing a 6.61% overall electricity rate hike being sought by SCE&G, which serves 668,000 residential and commercial customers in South Carolina.

Mr. Knapp will officially intervene in the hearing to oppose the hike as he has done effectively since 2004.  He has worked closely with the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff in these rate cases resulting in proposed hikes being reduced by up to 50%.  Mr. Knapp does not need legal representation in these hearings because he is intervening personally as a residential and commercial customer of SCE&G. 

“SCE&G’s parent company, SCANA, saw its earnings increase by 29% in the second quarter of this year,” said Mr. Knapp.  “In addition the company is justifying its request by saying it needs a return on equity almost 0.5% higher than the current rate for Duke Energy.  Small businesses simply want to tell SCE&G “NO”.  Fortunately I will have that opportunity.”

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